Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Preparing for My Spring/Summer Garden

My Garden Map
I am doing a lot of preparing for planting my spring/summer garden.  I am hoping to have a large amount of fresh, organic produce that I can freeze or can.  I am planning to do what they call a square foot garden.  My 16' x 8' garden will be divided into square feet and then I will plant a specified number of each item in that square foot.
You can see on my map that I noted how many plants per square foot and when they should be planted.  The marigolds are there for organic pest control.  I have never tried this before, but I have heard many people swear by them!  The black spots are paths for walking ... can't forget those!  I may alter my plan slightly, but this definitely gives me a jumping off point!  I will be posting about my garden progress as I go along.  Maybe some of you want to plant as well, but just don't know where to start!

Now is the time to start your seedlings indoors, especially if you plan to start tomatoes or peppers from seed or if you plan to plant lettuce, broccoli or other delicate plants.  I have lettuce, broccoli, onion, marigolds and strawberries in my plan; they all get planted a little earlier than the other items.  You can buy seedling pots or you can make them from newspaper or empty toilet paper rolls.
 Remember that seeds do not need tons of water.  Keep the soil moist, too much water will cause the seeds to mold.  Trust me, this has happened to me before!  Place them in a nice, sunny spot and watch them grow!

The other thing that I have been doing for a while now is nourishing my garden soil.  The way that I do this is to throw certain garbage items in my garden area.  You must be careful what you throw out there!  The stuff that I commonly throw out there:  banana peels and unfinished bananas, apple peels, potato peels, ends of celery stalks, bread ends and crusts, egg shells, coffee grounds, onion and garlic scraps, fruits and veggies that I would throw out as being "bad", carrot peels.  These are all items that break down and release various nutrients into the soil.  If you have a wood fireplace, I have also read that you can use your ashes as well.  Do not throw out things that are not going to break down, do not throw out meat scraps or fats, do not use pet or human feces (gross I know but some people equate it to manure and it's not the same) and be careful about acidic scraps like orange peels.  You can do this year round ... even when the garden is planted!
I usually just grab a bowl or pot out of my sink to throw stuff in through out the day.  This one is ready to go!
So, that's where I am right now with my garden.  I will have seeds with in a few days to get them started inside and will update at that point!

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  1. Any ideas on keeping bunnies out of the garden? We've had so many issues with them I've given up on successfully growing any veggies.

  2. Honestly ... we have a dog so he is our "bunny control". They do not dare to come into our yard. :) The only thing I can think of is fencing around the garden, but it has to be fencing with very small or no openings. I once saw a bunny jump through a hole in our standard chain link fence. That really surprised me! I did see an article about spritzing your plants with the following mixture:
    Garlic Oil Recipe homemade garlic oil spray, 1 whole garlic minced, 1 cup vegetable oil, 1 quart water, A few drops dishwashing liquid; First prepare garlic oil mixture by combining garlic and oil. Refrigerate for a day or two. Strain out garlic. Mix remaining ingredients with 2 tsp of garlic oil mixture. Spray as needed.
    I have read that rabbits do not like the smell of garlic. I can't promise this will work. Another idea is capsaicin. I once bought an over priced product called Critter Ridder when I had a squirrel problem. It worked wonderfully! Then I read the ingredients ... it was basically black pepper. SO ... Try sprinkling some freshly cracked peppercorns around your garden once a week (more frequently if needed). It is supposed to be irritating to their skin, so they avoid it. Hope that helps!!!